A Night with Andy Griffiths

Jenny Stubbs began the evening with handing out CBCA Bilby Awards & prizes for children who entered the Write and Illustrate a Funny Story Competition.  The winners of the Bilby awards were Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton.

The winners of the Write and Illustrate a Funny Story Competition were Jasmine Tulloch, Ethan Hill & Layla Burley, Lauren Church and James Burford.

Leah Bell, the teacher librarian at Ipswich Girls Grammar school introduced Andy Griffiths.  Before Andy began, Karen McArdle, head of  Ipswich Junior Grammar School presented the school’s year ones’ compilation of their ideas on what could be levels 40 – 52.  Andy went through the compilation and thought about stealing a few ideas.

Andy asked the kids what they had in their tree houses, and sadly not many kids had one.  Andy actually admitted to only having an imaginary tree house and asked if he could visit one of the children’s tree houses.

Andy asked the question, what happens when you write silly stories.  First the idea comes, then you need to good research.  For example, Andy and Terry thought of having a tree house.  Then they had to think of what kind of tree they would have the tree house in. Andy showed pictures of various trees and asked the children how they would design their tree houses, the kids loved the idea of helping out Andy.  Andy also admitted that one of the kids came up with a solution that he hadn’t thought of before.  The kids were pretty rowdy and enjoyed sharing their version of Andy’s style of humour.  Andy even had a picture of a tree that had a bum, it was a hit with the kids I can tell you!

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And then there was this toilet in a tree………

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Andy showed pictures of Terry’s first sketches of the Treehouse, they were amazing.  Andy mentioned that he loves working with Terry because Terry always surprises Andy, and Andy has to work hard to keep up with Terry’s artwork.

Starting stories with a list is a great way to plan your story.  Andy used the Ipswich Junior Grammar School’s compilation as an example

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Andy continued to talk the kids through ideas from the Treehouse series.  All the images were amazing, I was particularly inspired by their ideas for office supplies.  I might ask them if they plan to mass produce these items – see below

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The children thoroughly enjoyed having Andy share the ‘behind the scenes’ stories from the Treehouse series.  I think they could have stayed all night.  The images detailing the “Once Upon a Time Machine” were a real treat and gave us all a great insight into Andy and Terry’s creative process.  Andy often asked the children for their thoughts on possible story ideas, these children were very good, clearly inspired by years of stories from Andy.

Andy asked for questions and was promptly given two story ideas, I love that kids feel like they can tell Andy what to do.  A child then had Andy stumped with a very technical economic question about supplies that Andy and Terry had in the 13 Storey Treehouse.  I think this may have been the first time this has happened to Andy.

With a few spare minutes at the end of the session Andy talked the children through the baby and Godzilla scenario.  The logical story is that Godzilla would eat the baby.  Andy then showed a collection of images of different story options including the baby eating Godzilla, ewwwww

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And here’s one of a baby that the baby and Godzilla had

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Andy let us know that the premiere of “The Day My Butt Went Psycho” cartoon will be screening on Channel 9 at 8am on Saturday September 21.  It is in my calendar already.  Andy’s final thought for the night was that the biggest secret of writing is that ideas come from real life.  If you want to find out more about Andy, click HERE.

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